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Don’t Dread Date Night

8 Reasons Why Planned Sex Is Still Fun...and Necessary

Most of us plan everything in our lives: get-togethers with friends, workouts, where to go on vacation and what to do when we get there. Especially when it involves other people and a busy schedule, planning ensures that we get to do the things that we really value. And if we value the erotic side of our relationships, then often that requires some planning too. Unfortunately, Hollywood portrays sex in relationships as being easy, spontaneous, trouble-free and always great (unless trying to prove the point that it is not). As in most aspects of the storyline in Hollywood films, this carefree depiction does not reflect most real relationships. But buying into the Hollywood story unfortunately changes our expectations and we often worry that planning sex is boring, unnatural or even cheating. In reality, nothing can be farther from the truth.

 

Actually, many long-term couples plan their sexual encounters. And they find that, rather than hindering their relationship, it actually helps in these ways:

 

  1. To make it happen (regularly): For many couples, especially with busy schedules, a week can quickly slip into two. And what you thought was two ends up lasting four, and before you know it, it has been months since you have had sex - at which point, it can be really awkward to start it up again. If you don’t want to gradually drift apart, scheduling it can help.

 

  1. We did it at the beginning – and it worked - so why not now? The reality is that we generally plan all kinds of fun adventures at the beginning of a relationship. We put effort into what outfit we want to wear, new locations, ways to seduce, and props to include. Perhaps we used to couch the proposal of the date as a get-together, but usually it was understood that sex would play a part of the evening’s adventures.

 

  1. To build anticipation: Some of us, especially those who do not think about sex regularly, find it helpful to get into the frame of mind ahead of time. The anticipation of something great, such as a restaurant or play or hike can get us excited and mentally prepared for the pleasure to come. It can be productive to have time to get in the mood for sex too, and contemplate what we are into, rather than switch gears in the moment and try to conjure up those feelings when we were looking forward instead to a book and/ or bed.

 

  1. To make it better: So many of us wait to have sex until everything else is done, which means 11pm on a weeknight when you are exhausted and already counting the hours of sleep that you will be missing. Having sex when we are wishing we were sleeping does not usually make for great sex- for either partner. And if sex is not great, do we get excited to do it again? Not usually. There can begin the slippery slope to a sexless or an infrequent sex partnership.

 

  1. To conceive: Ok that might not be your reason, but it is for some. If you have been trying for a while and need to increase your odds that it will happen, then planning definitely helps!

 

  1. To boost our energy and relationship: A little effort goes a long way. Thinking about what you want to do, taking turns planning a surprise, researching how to successfully try a new activity such as bondage or talking dirty can deliver great rewards in pleasure as well as intimacy and connection. And many couples find that they get along better in day-to-day interactions as a result. And great sex energizes (remember the beginning of your relationship?). So that extra 30 minutes of good play can increase your adrenaline and keep a bounce in your step throughout the whole next day.

 

  1. Spontaneity arises within plans: Ever wanted to try something different but wondered if your partner actually liked the idea or if you knew how to do it safely or where both of your boundaries fit within that activity? The more you plan and discuss,  the more assurance you have to move forward, confident in your partner’s enthusiasm and limits. Ask anyone who has tried a risky sexual activity or sport. Knowing your limits lowers performance anxiety and enables you to have more fun and often more success.

 

  1. Want variety in your sex life? Planning is one way to facilitate that you are not always engaging in the same-old same-old together. And sometimes, even with a plan, you may not get into the mood or want to go all out. Intimacy of cuddling or massage or making out can be equally satisfying.

 

In short, planning is one way that we ensure that we do the things we want to do. It can be every Friday night or change from week-to-week. If it starts to feel too routine you can take turns planning an adventure for each other. There are great resources such as Laura Corn’s 52 Invitations to Great Sex to help you come up with new fun explorations with little effort.

 

Beware, if your sex becomes a chore or something to cross off your to-do list, then you need to take responsibility for your pleasure and have a chat with yourself, your partner and possibly a therapist. In the same way that you don’t want to return to the same bad restaurant or ugly campsite, unsatisfying sex does not usually appeal to us. If the sex you have is not satisfying, then with a little effort and a loving partner, there are usually ways to improve. Make great sex, not mediocre sex, part of your plan and you will find yourself growing in anticipation of the next escapade. And if something hot and spontaneous arises in the meantime, all the better!

 

Carlyle Jansen is the founder of Good For Her, as sexuality shop and workshop centre in Toronto. If you have questions or comments, email carlyle@goodforher.com or go online at goodforher.com